British aid worker found decapitated in Pakistan


THE BEHEADED corpse of a British aid worker has been discovered in the Pakistani city of Quetta, almost four months after he was kidnapped.

The body of Khalil Rasjed Dale was left on a road outside the city, in southern Baluchistan province, with a note attached which said he had been killed because a ransom had not been paid to his captors.

Mr Dale, who had been working for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), was kidnapped in January while driving near the organisation’s Quetta office.

He was abducted by gunmen as he made his way home in a clearly-marked ICRC vehicle on January 5th. His assailants are said to have bundled him into a car about 200 metres from an ICRC residence.

At the time, police in Quetta said Mr Dale was abducted by unknown assailants driving a Landcruiser following a visit to a local school. He was travelling with a Pakistani doctor and a driver, who were not seized.

Quetta police chief Ahsan Mahboob said the killers’ note read: “This is the body of Khalil who we have slaughtered for not paying a ransom amount.” Mr Dale had been a Muslim convert for more than 30 years.

British prime minister David Cameron said: “I was deeply saddened to hear today about the brutal murder of Khalil Dale a man who was killed whilst providing humanitarian support to others. “This was a shocking and merciless act, carried out by people with no respect for human life and the rule of law.

“Khalil Dale has dedicated many years of his life to helping some of the most vulnerable people in the world and my thoughts today are with his friends and family.”

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, said “tireless efforts” had been made to secure Mr Dale’s release and the British government had worked closely with the Red Cross. “I utterly condemn the kidnapping and killing of Mr Dale and send my deepest condolences to his family and loved ones as they come to terms with their tragic and distressing loss,” he said.

“This was a senseless and cruel act, targeting someone whose role was to help the people of Pakistan, and causing immeasurable pain to those who knew Mr Dale.

“My thoughts are with them, and with all those who have dedicated their lives to assisting the world’s most vulnerable people through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.”

“We are devastated,” said ICRC director general Yves Daccord. “Khalil was a trusted and very experienced Red Cross staff member who significantly contributed to the humanitarian cause.

“All of us at the ICRC and at the British Red Cross share the grief and outrage of Khalil’s family and friends.” Separatist militants and the Taliban are extremely active in Quetta, which is just a couple of hours’ drive to the border with Afghanistan’s Kandahar province, where the Taliban is battling US forces. The ICRC has working relations with the Taliban, but its staff remain vulnerable to criminals and kidnappers.

Retired nurse Sheila Howat, a former colleague of Mr Dale’s at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, said: “It’s dreadful what has happened to him, really awful. The world has lost someone who really cared for others.” – (Copyright: Guardian News Media 2012)